March 10, 2014

Jon Kyl, Barred From Lobbying, Offers to ‘Assist’ Clients with Tax Reform

jkylNeed help navigating the proposed federal tax system overhaul? Covington & Burling, a major law-lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., sent out a client alert recently announcing that former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) stands ready to assist businesses seeking the best outcome of the legislative proposal led by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).

If enacted, the tax overhaul expected this year will change billions of dollars in tax credits and rates.

Kyl, however, is barred from lobbying because he left the senate last year and is still within the “cooling off period.” The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act extends the ban on former senators engaging in lobbying from one to two years, leaving Kyl off the market for lobbying until January of 2015.

But as we’ve covered, lobbying law is poorly enforced and ambiguously defined. Former staffers and lawmakers prohibited from engaging in lobby activity often flout the law by engaging in meetings with officials, often with the cover that they’re just doing so in order  to collect intelligence, rather than “lobby.”

Shortly after he retired from office, Kyl joined the lobbying team of Covington & Burling, euphemistically titled the “Public Policy and Government Affairs”division. And the tax reform alert, which is embedded below, notes that Kyl is part of a team that is actively communicating with government officials on legislation now debated in Congress (emphasis added):

“Covington’s Public Policy and Government Affairs and Tax practice groups — which include Senator Jon Kyl, former top Republican on the Senate’s Finance Subcommittee on Taxation; former senior Treasury officials; and Ed Yingling, former President and CEO of the American Bankers Association (ABA) — are conversant with the details. Many of our team members are in regular consultation with senior Members of Congress, Treasury and IRS officials, and staffs of the Congressional tax-writing committees and are able to explain the hundreds of pages of proposals.”

See the alert below:


Hot Topic Tax Reform